Thursday, January 19, 2012

Book Review: How the Irish Saved Civilization by Thomas Cahill

In his book, How the Irish Saved Civilization, Thomas Cahill combines narrative and literary analysis with a comprehensive knowledge of history and historical figures to weave a tale of devotion and heroism.  Cahill does a convincing job of tracing the survival of civilization's literary history to the Irish monks.  Not only does Cahill discuss the social and political situation throughout Europe during the Fall of Rome he also shows the growth and development of Ireland at a time when the rest of the world was in decline. 

I love it when I read a book that makes me feel smarter.  This is one of those books.  Over the past two years I've learned a lot about ancient and medieval civilization.  Teaching those time periods has forced me to read more and find interests in time periods that, to be honest, I thought were kind of boring.  As a result, I discovered that I really like history and that the story of people is as interesting in the past as it is in the present.  Reading this book added another perspective and gave me a clearer understanding of the transition between the Roman Empire and the Dark Ages.

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